Detergents, household and industrial cleaning products, abrasive scouring agents and rinse-off cosmetic products, which contain intentionally added plastic microbeads.
Microbeads (Prohibition) Bill 2019
The purpose of the Bill is to prohibit the manufacture, placing on the market for sale (or gratis), supply, import or export of detergents, household and industrial cleaning products, abrasive scouring agents, and rinse-off cosmetic products, that contain intentionally added plastic microbeads. The Bill also prohibits the disposal of substances containing plastic microbeads down the drain or directly into freshwater or marine environments. The Bill will make breaches of these prohibitions an offence.
"microbead" is defined in the Bill as a solid plastic particle that (a) is not water soluble, and
(b) at its widest dimension is not more than 5 millimetres in extent.
"plastic" is defined in the Bill as a synthetic polymer that (a) can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into different shapes, and (b) that retains its final manufactured shape when used for the purpose for which it was manufactured.
"cosmetic product" is currently defined in the Bill as "any substance or combination of substances produced for the purpose of cleaning, protecting or maintaining a body surface or changing the appearance or improving the condition of a body surface, although this definition may be amended to the definition of cosmetic product in Article 2(1)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009.
The Bill exempts medicinal products, sun-screening products, products used for the purposes of education or research, and products in transit through the State. The Bill also provides for the Minister to have the power to exempt products containing plastic microbeads, for a specified industrial cleaning process, if the product is essential to the process and no substitutes free of microbeads exist.